Graduate Showcase Holly Tamara

Many Welsh or Wales based arts graduates are finding this current period especially difficult. Their usual opportunities to meet agents, prepare for final year exhibitions or productions may take place later in the year or sadly not at all. To raise awareness of the diverse talent graduating this year GTC is offering any Welsh or Wales based graduate the opportunity to be showcased on our website. If you are interested, please do get in touch.

Hi Holly great to meet you.

Hello, I’m Holly Tamara, a bilingual illustrator finishing up her degree at UWTSD in Swansea. I’m originally from Cardiff and will be moving back there after my final year at university. My illustration work is based around mindfulness, self- care and happiness; I use bright colours in my designs to try and make people happy when they look at my work. Currently I am working on developing my portfolio ready to enter out into the real world and developing my online presence during this lockdown.

 So, what got you interested in the arts?

I’ve always been interested in the arts from a young age, my Nan is also an artist and I get a lot of my inspiration from her. I’ve been developing my work since primary school but have only recently found “my style” that I am completely happy with.

 Can you tell us about your creative process?

My creative process really depends on what I’m doing, usually most of my work is digital. I usually start my work with inspiration, I then start sketching out my idea on my iPad with my apple pencil. I then colour in my design with bright and bold colours. I finish by adding my logo. My best work usually includes pattern designs although I do enjoy doing editorial work too.

 As a young Welsh artist graduating during a very difficult period what investment and support do you think is required to enable your career to develop and prosper?

As a young Welsh artist, I think we should be supported by having our graduate exhibition to showcase our work to people in the industry once this pandemic is over. As well as this some sort of financial help that people with businesses get in order to keep them afloat. I have been looking at industry jobs and because of the pandemic there isn’t anything available right now. I am very proactive in trying to find work but recently I have been focusing on developing my portfolio so I am ready when we will have the chance to work when this is all over.

 A range of arts organisation and individuals are now working online or finding new ways to reach out to audiences. Have you seen any particularly good examples of this way of working?

Ones that particularly stood out to me were our class’s Instagram that features an artist in the class every week. In order to push each artists promotion beyond their own self-promotion.

As well as this I find daily prompts really helpful during this uncertain time to keep busy. I myself have taken to writing a blog about the adventures I had before the pandemic.

If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?

If I was able to fund an area of the arts in Wales, it would probably be helping/ encouraging art with special needs or vulnerable children. My youngest brother suffers with autism, as do I; and I feel that art really helped me. These schools do try their best to encourage creativity, but the lack of funding really restricts them on what their able to do. I would love to help them to give the children to express them self creatively. I use my own creativity to make my little brother hand painted flash cards to help with his speech therapy.

 What excites you about the arts in Wales?

The arts in Wales excited me because of the opportunities there are with the welsh language. Other than Patagonia and Ohio we have the advantage of the Welsh Language. Although some people do not see the beauty in the welsh language, I do. I try to include it in everything I do. One of my favourite things to do with my creativity in wales is so compete in the National Eisteddfod with the Urdd; which I did this year. There are other opportunities with the welsh book council too that involve the welsh language.

 What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

In September I spent two weeks on a Welsh internship to Ohio in the US to learn about the welsh community out there. I spent the two weeks researching, meeting new people and creating a project based off my research and sight-seeing. It was refreshing to meet people as excited about the Welsh language as me outside of wales. There are more details about this on my blog where you can also see more examples of my work.

Thank you for your time.

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